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Representative Gillibrand Coming to Sean’s Run

April 17, 2007 - Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is scheduled to be at Chatham High School on Sunday, April 29th to cheer on hundreds of runners, joggers and walkers as they traverse the streets of the Village of Chatham during the 6th Annual Sean’s Run.

This community event, presented by First Niagara Bank, is conducted on the last Sunday of April each year in memory of Sean French, a standout Chatham High School runner and honor roll student. Sean’s Run serves as a prom season reminder about the dangers of underage drinking and impaired driving.

Funds raised through sponsorships and entry fees are given as grants to schools and youth serving organizations across region to support year-round programs to combat teenagers’ drinking and their lax use of seatbelts. A total of nine organizations will be awarded grants this year. Proceeds from the inaugural Sean’s Run endowed a scholarship fund which has benefited 38 college-bound seniors in the past 4 years.

A one mile youth race and community walk, SeansMile, goes off at 12:30 PM and a 5K starts at 1:00 PM. The first 800 individuals to register are guaranteed to receive long-sleeve souvenir t-shirts and packets with other giveaways. Additional premiums will be given to the first 200 registrants who pick up their packets the day before the event, Saturday April 28th, from 2 PM to 4 PM at the Chatham High School gymnasium. Following the walk/run, all entrants will be treated to a spread of nutritious refreshment. To register and to learn more information about the event, go to

In five years, Sean’s Run has become much more than a well-organized community running/walking event. It now includes a Prevention Education Expo, providing information to parents and teens about healthy lifestyles and for making safe choices about underage drinking and impaired driving. Exhibitors representing 15 health and human service organizations, police departments and youth serving groups will be set up inside the gymnasium and in the high school parking lot.

Another event component, the World Championship Battle of the Belts, is an interscholastic seatbelt buckling contest which premiered last year and will be held at 2 PM following the 5K. Many schools from around the region are anticipated to participate in this fun, fast moving event that has been designed by the Sean’s Run committee to encourage teens to increase their use of seatbelts. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for 15-20 year olds, and nearly 2/3 of those who perish are not using seatbelts.

A special tribute to all victims and survivors of drunk driving that became a Sean’s Run tradition beginning last year will also be continued. Those whose lives have been impacted are invited as special guests and will be provided special green visors to wear during the event.

“This recognition will put faces to the widespread impact of drunk driving crashes,” said Jeff French. ”We hope too this event offers some solace to those who have suffered and serves as a reminder to teenagers about the dangers of underage drinking.”

On January 1, 2002, 17-year old French was killed as a passenger in an underage drunk driving car crash. Sean’s buddy and classmate, Ian Moore, was also a passenger and he sustained paralyzing injuries. Over one third of the teenage car crash fatalities involve alcohol consumption.




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